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By The Wyoming LLC Attorney Team

June 02, 2023
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What Exactly Is A “Lifestyle Business”?

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A lifestyle business is a type of enterprise that is set up and run by its founders with the primary goal of sustaining a particular level of income and maintaining a desired work-life balance. These businesses are generally focused on supporting the owner's preferred lifestyle rather than achieving significant growth or expansion. The primary aim of a lifestyle business is to create a comfortable and flexible work environment that allows the owner to enjoy their desired lifestyle while generating enough income to support it.

Some characteristics of a lifestyle business include:

  1. Personal fulfillment: The owner's passion or personal interests often drive lifestyle businesses. They tend to prioritize personal fulfillment and enjoyment over rapid growth or high profits.
  2. Work-life balance: Lifestyle businesses typically emphasize a healthy work-life balance, allowing the owner to have more control over their time and daily schedule.
  3. Self-sufficiency: These businesses are often designed to support the owner's financial needs without requiring external investors or significant outside funding.
  4. Limited growth aspirations: Lifestyle businesses usually do not pursue aggressive growth strategies, as maintaining the desired lifestyle and work-life balance is often more important than business expansion.
  5. Smaller scale: Lifestyle businesses tend to be smaller in size, often with a limited number of employees, or sometimes even operating as a solopreneur venture.
  6. Flexibility: Lifestyle business owners often value flexibility in their work schedules and business operations, allowing them to adapt to changing circumstances and personal needs.

Examples of lifestyle businesses can include freelancing, consulting, small retail shops, boutique hotels, niche e-commerce stores, or specialized service businesses. The specific type of lifestyle business may vary depending on the owner's interests, skills, and desired lifestyle.

Startup vs. Small Business vs. Lifestyle Business

Startups, small businesses, and lifestyle businesses are three distinct types of enterprises, each with unique goals, structures, and growth strategies. Here's a comparison of the key differences between them:

StartupSmall BusinessLifestyle Business
GoalA new products, disrupt the industryNiche market, provide product/serviceSupport the owner’s lifestyle
StructureLean structureSmall team, operation focusFew or no employees
GrowthAggressive growth, seeking external fundingModerate growthLimited or slow growth
RiskHigh level of riskLow-risk, established marketsLow-risk, focused on sustainable income
Exit StrategyAcquisition, IPOPass it on to family members or employeesSell or close if no longer supports needs
  1. Startup:
    • Goal: A startup aims to disrupt an industry, solve a problem, or introduce a new product or service, typically with the goal of achieving rapid growth and significant market share.
    • Structure: Startups often begin with a lean structure, focusing on product development and market validation. As they grow, they may expand their teams, typically with a strong focus on technology and innovation.
    • Growth: Startups pursue aggressive growth strategies, often seeking external funding from investors to fuel expansion, scale operations, and capture a large market share.
    • Risk: Startups often carry a higher level of risk due to the uncertainty of the market and the focus on rapid growth, which can lead to potential failure.
    • Exit strategy: Startups generally aim for an exit strategy, such as an acquisition or an initial public offering (IPO), which can generate significant returns for founders and investors.
  2. Small Business:
    • Goal: A small business aims to serve a local or niche market, providing products or services to meet the needs of its customers. The primary goal is usually to achieve a sustainable and profitable business.
    • Structure: Small businesses often have a simple organizational structure, focusing on the core operations and services they provide. They may have a small team of employees, often with a more traditional hierarchy.
    • Growth: Small businesses tend to pursue moderate growth, often relying on their profits to fund expansion. They may not actively seek external funding or pursue aggressive growth strategies.
    • Risk: Small businesses typically carry lower risk compared to startups, as they often focus on serving established markets with proven products or services.
    • Exit strategy: Small business owners may not have a specific exit strategy in mind and may continue to operate the business indefinitely or pass it on to family members or employees.
  3. Lifestyle Business:
    • Goal: A lifestyle business is primarily focused on supporting the owner's desired lifestyle, balancing work and personal life, and generating enough income to maintain that lifestyle.
    • Structure: Lifestyle businesses are often structured to require minimal overhead and to allow the owner flexibility in managing their time and work schedule. They may have few or no employees, and the owner may handle most of the business operations.
    • Growth: Lifestyle businesses typically prioritize work-life balance over aggressive growth. They may experience limited or slow growth, focusing on maintaining a comfortable level of income rather than expanding rapidly.
    • Risk: Lifestyle businesses often carry lower risk than startups, as they are focused on sustainable income generation and maintaining a particular lifestyle rather than rapid growth.
    • Exit strategy: Lifestyle business owners may not have a specific exit strategy, as their primary focus is on maintaining their desired lifestyle. They may continue to operate the business as long as it supports their lifestyle or eventually sell it or close it down if it no longer serves their needs.

Each of these business types has its own unique characteristics, goals, and challenges. Understanding the differences can help entrepreneurs decide which type of enterprise best aligns with their personal objectives, skills, and resources.

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Motivations for Building Lifestyle Business

People choose to build lifestyle businesses for various reasons, often seeking a more fulfilling and flexible work-life balance compared to the traditional 9-5 structure or the high-risk nature of startups. Some of the main reasons for building a lifestyle business include:

The Riskiness of Startups

Startups often involve significant risks, as they aim for rapid growth and disruption in their industries. In contrast, lifestyle businesses focus on sustainable income generation and maintaining a particular lifestyle, generally carrying lower risk.

Traditional 9-5 Work Structure

Many people find the traditional 9-5 work structure restrictive and inflexible, limiting their ability to pursue personal interests, spend time with family, or travel. Lifestyle businesses allow owners to create a more flexible work schedule that aligns with their priorities and desired lifestyle.

Flexible Work Locations

Lifestyle businesses often provide the freedom to work from anywhere, enabling owners to travel or live in their preferred locations. This can be particularly appealing to digital nomads, remote workers, or those who value location independence.

Personal Financial Gain

In a lifestyle business, the owner typically retains most, if not all, of the profits generated by the business. This allows them to directly benefit from the business's success without having to share profits with investors or stakeholders, as is often the case with startups.

Passion and Personal Fulfillment

Lifestyle businesses often allow owners to pursue their passions and interests, turning hobbies or personal skills into a sustainable source of income. This can lead to higher job satisfaction and a more fulfilling work experience.

Control and Autonomy

Owning a lifestyle business provides a higher level of control and autonomy compared to working for someone else or managing a fast-growing startup with numerous stakeholders. Lifestyle business owners can make decisions based on their personal preferences and desired lifestyle, without being tied to corporate goals or investor expectations.

Balancing Work and Life

A primary motivation for many lifestyle business owners is achieving a better work-life balance. By designing a business that supports their desired lifestyle, they can prioritize personal well-being, family time, or other non-work-related pursuits alongside their professional goals.

Ultimately, people choose to build lifestyle businesses because they value the flexibility, control, and personal fulfillment that these enterprises can provide, allowing them to create a work environment that aligns with their individual preferences and goals.

What are the benefits of a lifestyle business?

A lifestyle business offers several benefits to its owner, which can contribute to a more fulfilling and balanced work-life experience. Some of the key benefits include:

Work-life Balance

One of the main benefits of a lifestyle business is the ability to achieve a better work-life balance, allowing owners to prioritize personal well-being, family time, and other non-work-related pursuits alongside their professional goals.

Flexibility

Lifestyle businesses often provide flexibility in terms of work hours and location, enabling owners to set their own schedules and work from anywhere. This allows them to adapt their work to fit their preferred lifestyle and personal commitments.

Empowerment and Independence

Owning a lifestyle business offers a higher level of control and autonomy compared to working for someone else or managing a fast-growing startup with numerous stakeholders. Lifestyle business owners can make decisions based on their personal preferences and desired lifestyle, without being tied to corporate goals or investor expectations.

Personal Fulfillment

Lifestyle businesses often allow owners to pursue their passions and interests, turning hobbies or personal skills into a sustainable source of income. This can lead to higher job satisfaction and a more fulfilling work experience.

Financial Independence

A successful lifestyle business can generate enough income to support the owner's desired lifestyle, allowing them to achieve financial independence without relying on a traditional job or external funding.

Lower Risk

Lifestyle businesses typically carry lower risk compared to startups, as they focus on sustainable income generation and maintaining a particular lifestyle rather than rapid growth and disruption.

Greater Adaptability

Lifestyle businesses can often adapt more easily to changes in the owner's personal circumstances, such as relocation, family commitments, or changes in personal interests. This can provide a level of stability and continuity that may be more challenging to achieve in a traditional job or fast-growing startup.

Retaining Profits

In a lifestyle business, the owner usually keeps the majority, if not all, of the profits generated by the business, enabling them to directly reap the rewards of its success without sharing profits with investors or stakeholders.

These benefits make lifestyle businesses an attractive option for those seeking a more balanced and fulfilling work experience that aligns with their personal preferences and goals.

How do I start a lifestyle business?

Starting a lifestyle business involves a series of steps, focusing on the alignment of your personal interests, skills, and desired lifestyle with a viable business model. Here's a guide to help you get started:

  1. Identify your passion or interest: Determine what you are passionate about or what interests you. This could be a hobby, skill, or area of expertise that you enjoy and can turn into a profitable business venture.
  2. Assess your skills and strengths: Evaluate your skills, strengths, and expertise in the area you've identified. Consider any additional training or knowledge that may be required to establish and run your lifestyle business successfully.
  3. Research the market: Conduct thorough market research to understand the demand, competition, and potential opportunities within your chosen niche. Identify your target audience and assess the feasibility of your lifestyle business idea.
  4. Develop a business plan: Create a detailed business plan outlining your business idea, target market, competition, revenue streams, marketing strategy, and operational requirements. Be sure to include your personal goals and desired lifestyle as part of the plan, as these factors will influence the way you structure and run your business.
  5. Choose a business model: Select a suitable business model that aligns with your lifestyle goals and preferences. This could be freelancing, consulting, an e-commerce store, content creation, or a service-based business, among others.
  6. Register your business: Follow the necessary legal steps to register your business, including choosing a business name, registering your company, and obtaining any required licenses or permits.
  7. Set up your workspace: Establish a dedicated workspace or office that suits your chosen business model and allows you to work efficiently and comfortably, whether at home or in a remote location.
  8. Establish an online presence: Create a website and social media profiles for your lifestyle business to showcase your products or services, build brand awareness, and connect with your target audience.
  9. Develop a marketing strategy: Implement a marketing strategy that effectively reaches your target market and generates interest in your products or services. This may include content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, or paid advertising, depending on your target audience and budget.
  10. Launch your business: Once you have everything in place, launch your lifestyle business and start generating revenue. Continuously monitor your progress, learn from your experiences, and adapt your strategies as needed to achieve your personal and professional goals.
  11. Network and collaborate: Build relationships with others in your industry, potential clients, and like-minded entrepreneurs to expand your network and uncover new opportunities for collaboration and growth.

Starting a lifestyle business takes time, effort, and dedication, but with careful planning and a focus on your personal goals, you can create a fulfilling and sustainable venture that supports your desired lifestyle.

2023 Lifestyle Business Ideas

Here are eight lifestyle business ideas that have the potential to be successful in 2023. These ideas cater to various skills and interests, allowing you to choose one that aligns with your passions and desired lifestyle:

Online courses and coaching

Leverage your expertise in a particular subject or skill by creating online courses, tutorials, or coaching sessions. Platforms like Teachable, Udemy, or Kajabi make it easy to create and sell digital courses to a global audience.

Freelance services

Offer your skills as a freelancer in areas such as writing, graphic design, web development, photography, or digital marketing. Use platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer to find clients and build your freelance business.

Blogging and content creation

Start a blog or become a content creator in a niche you're passionate about. By consistently producing high-quality content and promoting it through social media and other channels, you can generate income through advertising, sponsored posts, or affiliate marketing.

E-commerce store

Create an e-commerce store selling niche products, handmade items, or digital products. Platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Etsy make it easy to set up and manage an online store.

Social media consulting

Help small businesses and individuals grow their social media presence and engagement by offering social media consulting, management, or content creation services.

Virtual assistance

Provide administrative and organizational support to busy entrepreneurs or small businesses as a virtual assistant. Services can include email management, calendar management, data entry, or booking travel arrangements.

Health and wellness coaching

Share your knowledge in health, nutrition, or fitness by offering coaching services, personalized meal plans, or workout programs. You can conduct coaching sessions in-person or online via video calls.

Subscription box service

Curate and deliver themed subscription boxes to customers on a monthly basis. Identify a niche market and source unique products, then create a subscription service that delivers a personalized experience to your customers.

These lifestyle business ideas can provide you with the flexibility and freedom to work on your own terms while pursuing your passions. Be sure to research the market demand and competition before committing to any particular idea, and develop a solid business plan to guide your efforts.